Nutley High School has a legitimate cross country standout in junior Jimmy Quinn.
Quinn showed some flashes during the outdoor season last spring, but made a quantum leap into the elite category by finishing third in the Varsity Group 3 race at the Passaic County Coaches Invitational last Saturday at the Garret Mountain Reservation in Woodland Park.
Quinn finished that face in a sensational time of 17:12, with only Joshua Leprise of Toms River North and Jonathan Marcus of Fair Lawn ahead of him.
“I’ve been training pretty hard,” Quinn said after the race. “This was my first time on this course. I was running on this course thinking I could do some damage. I definitely wanted to be under 17:30 and I did that. I feel pretty good about it.”
Quinn knows that the race can only give him experience for the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 1, Group III state sectionals in November.
“I’ll be looking for a faster time and a higher place the next time I run here,” Quinn said. “This race really boosts my confidence a lot. I had some pretty good competition here. I think I definitely opened some eyes.”
Veteran Nutley head cross country coach Gerald Ryan knows talent when he sees it _ and he sees it in Quinn.
“He’s been running with us since his freshman year,” Ryan said. “He wrestled freshman year, but then he decided to stick with track and cross country. No doubt, that was a good decision for him.”
Ryan knew that Quinn would be his premier runner coming into this season.
“No doubt, he was coming in as the No. 1 because of his success last season,” Ryan said. “I knew he would have a successful cross country season.”
Quinn finished fifth in the Essex County championships in the 3,200-meter run last spring.
“I think that helped his confidence tremendously,” Ryan said. “I think he’s getting more comfortable with cross country running. He’s dedicated to training and that’s really beginning to pay off.”
Ryan seems to think that Quinn can continue to have success throughout the remainder of the season.
“No reason not to think that,” Ryan said. “He runs with the lead pack and holds his own. He’s looked solid so far. He also has an unbelievable heart. Nothing stops him. I’m really happy with his progress.”
Quinn wasn’t the only Nutley runner to perform well at Garrett Mountain.
Eric Vogler was 18th overall in 18:06. Matt DaSilva was 26th in 18:31, followed by Nick Duca in 27th in 18:33.
Gerard Dimayuga was 35th, crossing the line in 19 minutes flat. Vinny Marinaro was 41st, coming home in 19:17 and Darrien Ramirez was 54th in 20:48.
Quinn also competed at the Shore Coaches Invitational last Saturday at Holmdel Park, getting another chance to run with the big boys.
Quinn finished 33rd in the highly competitive Varsity C race, covering the tough Holmdel course in 17:29.
“He’s moving all the way up,” Ryan said. “I’m happy with the way things are working out for us. The girls also have a real solid team. I’m very happy with where we are.”
Vogler was 73rd at Holmdel Park in 18:19. The conditions were a little slippery after Friday night’s rain fall and Saturday’s constant mist.
Matt DaSilva was next, crossing the line in 18:41.
But Quinn is a runner to watch for the remainder of the season _ and he’s only a junior.
“I wanted to be under 17:30 at Holmdel, so I did that,” Quinn said. “There’s room for improvement. I just have to keep working.”
Nutley junior Jimmy Quinn finished third at the Passaic County Coaches Invitational cross country meet last Saturday, the highest place finish for a Nutley runner in quite some time. Photo by Jim Hague
Learn more about the writer ...
Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.